Just a few days after its Android Developer Summit, Google has announced that all devices launching with Android 9 Pie or later will be Project Treble-complaint. To recall, the tech giant had launched Project Treble last year with an aim to reduce the delay of updates by OEM partners to Android devices. A major issue with the Android version adoption is the slow rollout of customised versions from manufacturers to their handsets. Thanks to Project Treble, Google believes Android 9 Pie will hit more devices by the end of 2018 than the number of handsets with Android Oreo in 2017.
In a new post on Android Developers Blog, Google has provided an update on the developments in Project Treble. As mentioned, Google says all future devices launching with Android 9 Pie or later will be Treble-compliant and take “full advantage of the Treble architecture” to deliver quicker upgrades. Iliyan Malchev, Project Treble Architect, in the blog says, “Thanks to Treble, we expect to see more devices from OEMs running Android 9 Pie at the end of 2018 as compared to the number of devices that were running Android Oreo at the end of 2017.”
While Google’s expectations could work in Project Treble’s benefit, it is interesting to note that not many smartphones have adopted the latest Android build yet. As per Google’s monthly Android distribution chart for October 2018, the share of Android smartphones running Android Pie was still less than 0.1 percent. To recall, the total share of Android Oreo in January 2018 stood at 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent in December 2017.
At the recently concluded Android Developer Summit, Google demonstrated the benefits of Project Treble by showing the same Generic System Image (GSI) running on devices from different manufacturers. GSI is essentially a pure and unmodified build of Android from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), devoid of any device maker or carrier customisations. In the latest blog, the company says that the GSI is built from the latest available AOSP source code, including the latest bug fixes contributed by OEMs.
“We’re continuing to work on making GSI even more accessible and useful for app developers. For example, the GSI could enable early access to future Android platform builds that you can run on a Treble-compliant Android 9 device, so you could start app development and validation before the AOSP release,” Malchev further added.